Submitted by idkalice in Anarchism

i'm not really the right person to talk about this and i'm still sorta new so sorry if I'm saying anything wrong or if this post is shitty or poorly worded.

until recently i thought people choosing whatever gender identity they feel best represents them (including having no gender or not caring about their gender) was a good thing, but it seems gender abolitionists and gender nihilists disagree. idk the subject seems a little scary and complicated to me and it's sorta stressing me out.

and i guess seeing some more opinions on this might help me figure out where i stand so if you want to share your thoughts go ahead.



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LittleHelp wrote

The issues with societal gender roles arise from them being forced upon people, against their will, with the expectation that these roles need to be performed at all times. For example, if you were identified as a girl at birth by someone looking at your sexual organs, that means you now have to conform to society's idea of what a girl does and looks like for the rest of your life. Breaking these imposed roles is commonly followed by heavy societal sanctions and threats of, as well as actual, physical harm.

Freely choosing what gender you identify with and/or present as is actually part of abolishing these rigid gender roles, including identifying as no gender, and is thus part of the liberating process. To be more precise; any act of defiance against traditional gender roles, be it:

  • transitioning to another gender
  • wearing clothes or using pronouns not commonly associated with the role you were assigned as at birth
  • acting or speaking in a way not typically assumed of a person with your gender presentation or birth identification
  • changing the above things on a whim

… all work towards gender liberation and normalizing non-conformity. So, if any number of those things or others pertaining to gender liberation not listed here sound like things you'd want to do, feel free.

To answer your question: When someone says something like “abolish gender,” often that would mean to be a provocation and challenge to societal norms, and/or short for “abolish imposed gender roles.”


Fool wrote (edited )

On understanding identity abolition I'd actually recommend an Afro-pessimist text.

My journey to Gender Nihilism (and Nihilism as a stepping stone to Squirrealism) began with Baedan. It heavily Nihilist - so when it wasn't something I read immediately. Baedan 2 is really getting into Anti-Civ

Baedan 3 is probably more easy to engage if not already familiar with Nihilist texts, but isn't available on Anarchist Library yet.

Audio versions are available on Immediatism for the main sections of each book, including from Baedan 3.

The thing I really want to point out is that while one can free themselves of the burdens of identity, they must still navigate the "material" reality of those around them. If these things bring people comfort, support them, but lay the groundwork for them to make the journey beyond when they're ready. But for one's self, words are nothing but communication fluff - define them, don't let them define you.

Another text I'd recommend is Jacob Blumenfeld's book on Max Stirner - audio available from Immediatism


idkalice OP wrote

i tried reading the first text but i don't really think i understood, the baedan stuff is pretty long so i haven't read it as of now i read this and i think i sorta understand better but idk what to think, it's a pretty uncomfortable idea to me sorry


Fool wrote

I ummed for a long time on how to reply.

Nihilism didn't click with me immediately.

Overall unless you're angry with the world, it's probably better to start with Egoism, or Post-Anarchism, before coming back to Nihilism.

Alternatively, dessert



idkalice OP wrote

sorry for posting again i found this post (sorry i'm just searching random bs on the site like a weirdo) and others on this site + what little i've skimmed of baedan 1 and 2, i might understand what you're talking about with identity abolition a little better and i think i might be feeling a little better about it. maybe i'll read desert and then baedan but not now tho

but would one who is free of identity/gender still be able to characterize themself with traits commonly perceived as feminine including names and pronouns for example?


Fool wrote

Ideally, you would be comfortable enough with yourself to not internally classify yourself or your actions. Overall, this is less about "gender" and more about "Conscious Egoism" or "Ego Death".

Don't make yourself unhappy or uncomfortable with this, that's the opposite of the aim. Do whatever makes you happy.

Since one can't police the thoughts of others there will be consequences to the way one interacts with the world, it's mostly about personally detaching one's self from Gender, that your own ideology doesn't affect the way you express yourself - initiating actions that do not really reflect who you are, due to attempts to be something that only exists as a spectre of social policing.

This can take time, call yourself whatever you you want. Be happy, nihilism is about lifting the veil on concepts that prevent happiness.


tuesday wrote

so the idea is that gender is an unnecessary label that mostly serves to reify gender roles and other cultural norms that are used for to oppress people.


idkalice OP wrote

thanks for explaining though i don't really think i agree


tuesday wrote

that's fine. no one is trying to take your gender :)

for me gender is a form of communication. it's an expression of self and its the label of it that society uses to limit our ability to be entirely authentic people. without these expectations there wouldn't be any limits on how people can express themselves and there would be no expectations of your expression based on the body you were born in. it's abolition in that it would dismantle the ideas of gender roles and gendered oppression but it's also really a sort of a creation of as many genders as there are humans because we would all just be expressing who we are at our core idea of self.


moonlune wrote (edited )

You can think of gender as a certain set of codes/rules that are used when interacting with other people, both how others interact with you according to your presenting gender and how you interact with them (and how you behave in general).

Gender nihilism/abolitionism is simply the idea that we should interact with other people without following a rule/script or expecting any specific behavior from them and that would make interactions richer.

I'm not sure if there's a strong distinction between gender nihilism and gender abolitionism.

I believe gender nihilism is pretty cool idea in theory and maybe in a few decades from now but it forgets that some people today feel very strongly about their gender. Also in today's society gender is pretty important and people would prefer to be able to put you in a category than you being gender nihilist.


Majrelende wrote (edited )

I say, don't try to force a person into a gender role/presentation they don't want, and have respect and humility. No one even knows what gender is, really, and we don't really need to know, so "don't rule people" is as good a guideline as any.


ChaosAnarchy wrote

until recently i thought people choosing whatever gender identity they feel best represents them (including having no gender or not caring about their gender) was a good thing, but it seems gender abolitionists and gender nihilists disagree.



idkalice OP wrote

sorry i don't have a source it's just what i think their position is, most of what i know is just from me searching these ideas on this site so sorry if I'm wrong. i don't want to speak for them it's kinda hard for me to understand them which is why i made this post in the first place